What is leadership? Leadership is a term used in many contexts and related to many positions. Often when we think of leadership, we imagine an individual leading a team or organization. However, leadership can be relatable to any position within an organization. Leadership can occur from the lowest ranks to the highest; it is all relative to the individual and the mindset he/she/they have to lead.
As a leader, it is essential to take responsibility for your future. When you are struggling in your position, assess yourself, and determine a plan forward.
I had a client I was coaching who was concerned about his future with a company. His direct supervisor indicated he was not meeting the organization’s targets and standards. My client agreed with his supervisor’s assessment and believed he had a lot to learn. To help my client, I had him participate in an exercise where he outlined his strengths and areas where he needed further growth and development. This exercise aimed to allow my client to assess his current capabilities. I asked him to address each of the development areas and outline a plan to turn those growth areas into strengths. Specifically, I asked him to write points that would help him with each area he struggled, being as detailed as possible. I wanted him to consider how he could succeed individually and where he might require additional help from his supervisor, coach, or mentor. After evaluating his strategy, I advised him to meet and review his action plan with his supervisor. The meeting was a success, and his supervisor praised him for taking responsibility for his career.
The importance of acknowledging where our strengths and areas of growth and development lie are vital to ensure we thrive and grow as a leader. Doing regular personal check-ins and evaluations of our workplace abilities allows us to see where we might need improvement and areas we might require others’ help. It is necessary to communicate our plan with a supervisor, co-worker, or friend for accountability and guarantee success. At these moments, we need to put our egos aside and accept we are not perfect. Making excuses for where we might be failing is not an effective way to be a better employee or leader. We must take the time to decipher where we can improve, plan a path forward, and successfully achieve our goals.
Jen Magnus has a Doctorate of Business Administration: Organizational Leadership. Dr. Magnus uses her academic knowledge and years of work experience to conduct workplace assessments, investigations, and training related to leadership, bullying and harassment, and trauma-informed interviewing. She is a 14-year veteran of policing, an instructor of post-secondary institutions, and a member of several Public Boards. All notes, publications, and opinions are her own unless otherwise specified. © Magnus Consulting 2021